Increasing adult immunization rates in a rural state through targeted pharmacist education

Elizabeth T. Skoy, Michael Kelsch, Kylie Hall, Bong Jin Choi, Paul Carson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Most immunization rates fall below the Healthy People 2020 goals for adults. Pharmacists have the potential to have a positive effect on immunization rates through vaccine administration. Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess if an educational program developed for pharmacists could increase pharmacist-delivered statewide immunization rates. Practice description: This study was conducted in the state of North Dakota. North Dakota law allows authorized pharmacists to provide any immunization to individuals aged 11 years or older. Practice innovation: In collaboration with the state health department, a needs assessment of North Dakota pharmacists was conducted to determine what resources and education could increase the delivery of immunizations within the pharmacy. The results were used to develop focused continuing pharmacy education material, create an online toolkit, and provide immunization administration certification. Evaluation: The number and proportion of pharmacist-delivered immunizations and overall adult immunizations rates were compared pre- and postintervention. The North Dakota Immunization Information System was used for data comparison. In addition, the number of pharmacists registered to provide immunizations with the State Board of Pharmacy was tabulated. Results: The number of pharmacist-provided immunizations increased by more than 3900 doses. In addition, the percentage of adult immunizations provided by pharmacists and overall adult immunization rates increased throughout the state. After adjusting for seasonality, there was an increase in the number of pharmacist-delivered pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine immunizations (P < 0.001). The number of pharmacists registered to provide immunizations increased throughout the study period by 39%. Conclusion: This study suggests that focused education and resources delivered to pharmacists can increase pharmacy-based immunization rates and adult immunization rates overall. Improving adult immunization rates through greater pharmacist engagement may help to decrease overall infectious disease threats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e301-e306
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (nursing)
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology


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